Lists seem to sell magazines and for decades Forbes has created lists in a variety of financial categories. While not as popular as its World’s Richest People List, investors and industry leaders alike follow the Forbes Most Innovative Growth Companies List. And as one would expect with the advent of a new technology’s promise to change the landscape in so many fields, two 3D Printing companies have made the 2014 list.
3D Systems Corporation was ranked 13th of 100 companies on the Most Innovative Growth Companies List, while Stratasys came in at #32. First on the list was online accounting services firm Xero, based in Wellington, New Zealand. At first glance it’s hard to imagine that a company in something as old as accounting could be more innovative than something as futuristic as 3D Printing, but Forbes has a complex formula to calculate who makes the list. With CEO Avi Reichental’s commitment to market segmentation product strategy, we can understand the higher rank for 3D Systems. The Rock Hill, NC company has also delved deeply into high growth areas, especially medical device manufacturing.
While having a celebrity spokesperson doesn’t hurt popularity of 3D Systems consumer products, the Forbes scoring was more scientific than often used in these types of rankings. According to the Forbes website, their method centers on “investors’ ability to identify firms they expect to be innovative now and in the future”. Working with renowned Harvard Business School Professor and innovation researcher, Clayton Christensen, Forbes has conducted extensive research on what makes innovators tick. The resulting measure, aptly called the Innovation Premium, is the key score for a high place in the annual list. Details about the Innovation Premium can be found in the Harvard University Press book, The Innovators DNA, written by Dr. Christensen along with Jeff Dyer and Hal Gregersen.
You can check out the complete List on the Forbes Website.